War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0316 CORRESPONDENCE, eTC.

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upon the promise of the Government that the may be invested in interest-bearing public securities, and that promise is not fulfilled after the 1st of July next. It might be answered that Congress has already settled this principle by the act of last session which reduced the interest from 8 to 7 per cent. A still better answer will be found in the reasons which led to that act and which make necessary one now proposed. A limitation of time for the performance of contracts has never been considered an infringement where sufficient opportunity is given to claim performance. Justice is satisfied by giving to the party full opportunity to receive the benefit of his contract. Upon this principle rests every change in statutes of limitation. Examples of the same principle are afforded in private matters by the laws of partnership and for the administration of assets. In public matters the history of every nation affords like precedents, which will probably find support in the laws of every State in our Confederacy. The modification of the contract is substantially for the benefit of both parties. The object in view is to increase the value of the whole remaining currency. This object is effects by increasing the purchasing power of each note in proportion to the reduction of the whole. Assuming this reduction to be two-thirds, it follows that every holder of only one-third in proportion of the new issues will have the same value in money left after he shall have invested the other two-thirds in bonds. In other words, he will make a clear gain of those two-thirds. If he shall have in his possession none of the new issues, he will nevertheless gain in the reduced price of every article of consumption.

2. Next it will be objected that after the lapse of the period of limitation the value of the note as money is taken away. It is true that the note will lose its function as money, but its intrinsic value is unimpaired. It is still receivable for public dues, and it still has the faith and property of the Confederate States pledged for its payment. It will even have a modified circulation. A great public exigency has arisen which compels a change, and all that the Government can do is to make the change with as little injury to private rights as possible. This it endeavors to do by avoiding any direct interference with the contract and by giving to the holder ample opportunity to reap all its advantages. The time for the enjoyment of these advantages was no part of the contract, and every holder was bound to know that such an incident has always been considered within the control of the law-making power.

3. It will be urged that the calling in the circulation, as proposed, will cause too large and sudden a contraction. An examination of the probable state of the currency at the date of limitation will show this objection to be unsound. The new circulation to be issued after the 1st December will, on the 1st of July, probably be upward of $200,000,000. It will be issued gradually, and will fill up the channels left by the funding of the old issues, and so far from producing contraction, the new issues will probably be in excess at too early a date. The danger at all times to this kind of currency is in that direction.

4. A fourth objection will be found in the probable effect on the price of bonds. The large amount of currency turned into bonds will cause the supply to outrun the demand, and the usual consequences of such a condition of the market will follow. It cannot be denied that the price of bonds will probably fall, but this fall will in truth be merely nominal and will find a full compensation in the increased